In just five short days, the nation will “run out of money” if the debt ceiling is not raised. The topic is causing a huge political divide in Washington, even among members of the same party. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) blasted members of the Tea Party (also Republicans) for their stance on the debt ceiling issue, going so far as to read an OpEd piece that called the Tea Party members of Congress hobbits.
Today, Tea Party darling Rand Paul (R-KY) continued the Lord of the Rings theme saying that he’d rather be a troll than a hobbit. Honestly, the themed banter between members of Congress is really starting to annoy me. Stop throwing out pop culture references and get down to business and solve this issue.
Everyday Americans, you and I, have very little say in the matter (aside from calling our Congressperson) but if nothing is done we will all be dealing with the consequences. So what might these consequences be? Unfortunately, there aren’t any hard and fast facts to work with aside from the fact that it will hit us all where it counts – our pocketbooks.
Right now, there are rumors that Treasury Secretary Geithner will come out and give us all a list of who and what will be paid should the deadline pass and who will be left holding an IOU. Again, we don’t have hard facts to work with but a CNNMoney.com article examines what bills will be paid and what won’t.
“The consensus thinking has been that Treasury will prioritize who to pay first and who to put off. And at the top of the list of who gets paid will be investors owed interest on U.S. debt. If the investors aren't paid, that would constitute a default, which would have a host of negative consequences for the country.”
I definitely understand the importance of preventing default. What about those households that rely on Social Security as their sole source of income? Again, no one knows for certain but another CNNMoney.com article addresses that question – Social Security to panicked seniors: ‘We don’t know.’
What about members of our Armed Forces, many of who are deployed in war zones right now? Yet again I have asked a question that has no publicly known answer. Leo Shane III covered this topic in his article for the Stars and Stripes website:
“Earlier this week, administration officials told veterans groups that they’re committed to protecting active-duty military and their families from this latest budget fight, but would not promise that benefits for either group will be covered.”
As we head into Friday morning Americans really don’t have any answers about the debt ceiling crisis. Will a solution be passed? Is August 2nd really the hard deadline or is there more cash than we thought? Will we default? Who will be paid? The list of questions could go on and on.